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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, August 23, 2005
    On Everton tees
    When I saw their New Season Selection I felt had to write to Philosophy Football. Ok, Liverpool and Chelsea won stuff last year so they merit a shirt. I really like the street map of Highbury, N5, marking Arsenal's last season at their famous ground, but the fourth shirt riled me a bit: 'BLOWING BUBBLES pays tribute to the anthem all Hammers fans will be singing as they celebrate their return to where they all feel they belong.'

    Well, fine. But what about Everton, as we celebrate our return to where we feel we belong - European competition? Admittedly, barring miracles it'll be the UEFA Cup after tomorrow but I had to ask the PF team the question.

    And they graciously responded by asking me to send them some Everton quotes; and one lengthy return email later they told me to 'look out for Dixie'. That's very heartening. I wonder which of the great man's quotes they'll feature. "I used to stick the ball in the net and bow three times to the Kop. They never liked me doing that." - that's a good one. As is this comment he's alleged to have addressed to George Best at the height of the 60s icon's success: "When I was playing I couldn't afford a pair of boots never mind boutiques."

    But I'll plum for this one, a comment on his astonishing record of sixty goals in one season: "People ask me if that 60-goal record will ever be beaten. I think it will. But there's only one man who'll do it. That's that feller who walks on the water. I think he's about the only one."

    Of course there are already some excellent Everton tee shirts around, many of them produced by When Skies Are Grey and on sale in St Lukes Church Hall on matchdays. There's the one based on that heartwarming quote of Moyes the day he joined us: "Everton are the People's Club on Merseyside..."; there's the yellow-and-blue one bearing the wondrously nostalgic and iconic words '1969/70 - KENDALL BALL HARVEY'.

    But one other shirt features a line which may possibly be theologically incorrect but remains one of the best, most affirming things any player has ever said about the supporters of his club. It's tremendous, and it's by Brian Labone: "One Evertonian is worth twenty Liverpudlians."

    You really can't say better than that.